Getting to know the true French lifestyle

If you’re looking for a new place to discover, book a flight to France and see the unique lifestyle of the French which will leave you utterly amazed. I’m lucky to have cousins to stay with while in Paris. This has given me the opportunity to visit this magnificent country on numerous occasions. Stay tuned and discover the ultimate guide to the real French lifestyle.

It is all about outdoor activities

There is a word meaning hiking, going for a walk or cycling – randonee. French are mad about these activities. Go for a walk through Montmartre and see the amazingly unique village within the modern metropolis. Along the way, you will discover Basilica of Sacré-Cœur sitting on a crest of the hill. What you should know is that the place is brimming with tourists, so better wake up early, which is also a French thing, and avoid all the hustle and bustle.

Paris street artists
There are still a number of old-fashioned street artists along the Seine (on Quai de la Megisserie / Pont Neuf in particular), they are mostly waterlocolor artists. Sometimes, they also double as second-hand book sellers, from the metal bookcases along the Seine banks.

Go to the nearby street called Place du Tertre and see where the artists of 20th century art used to spend time. Nowadays you can see a lot of portrait sketchers out there and see the creative minds at work. However, you may not be impressed by their artworks, the times when Picasso, Derain, Modigliani and Vang Gogh lived and created masterpieces in these narrow streets are now gone. Still, although the entire place has become commercialized, there’s no better place in Paris to feel that artistic vibe. Feel free to engage in a friendly chat with the artists who can tell you all about their current issues. Don’t be discouraged if they don’t speak English. They’re not inhospitable, they may just be embarrassed about their poor English proficiency. On the other side, there are a lot of cozy little cafes, but my suggestion is to avoid spending time there, no matter how nice they look to you. The prices down there are exorbitant.

One of the most cultured countries in the world

France is well-known for being among the most cultured countries and its residents are famous for their hedonistic lifestyle. They possess an insatiable appetite for art, literature, music and gastronomy. My ultimate recommendation is that you shouldn’t miss visiting the incredible Louvre. This maze of galleries is home to some of the best pieces of art in the world which you should definitely see. If you are under 26, like me, you will be pleased to hear that you can enter the museum free of charge on Fridays after 6 pm. Everywhere you roam in Paris you will be able to hear buskers in the street and their joyful tunes.

Visit Marais

Marais is one of the most unusual neighbourhoods in Paris. You will be amazed once you see the numerous little clothing boutiques, Jewish bakeries and restaurants and some extraordinary vintage shops. This is also the gay capital of the city and therefore the most positively charged place. There is no better place in Paris to head towards to than Marais, as it is the only one which still reflects the true Parisian spirit. The locals love spending their spare time in cosy little cafés. Go to The Broken Arm Café where you can unwind and enjoy a delicious blueberry cheesecake and top quality coffee. Make sure you eat at L’As du Fallafel if you like falafels and shawarmas.

Paris neighborhood of Marais
Exploring the Paris neighborhood of Marais.

Everyone in Paris is mad about fashion. If you are interested in vintage pieces of clothing, go to Free P Star. You will find extraordinary items and some unique jewelry. However, you should know that the French cherish embracing their true selves, that is, being self-confident about whatever you wear. The local principle is little or no make-up as you will see the moment you enter Marais. Talk to the friendly locals and get to know their fashion style.

Canal du Midi
The Canal du Midi is a 360-km network of navigable waterways linking the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.

Don’t stop there!

Yes, Paris is amazing, but the true French lifestyle is best felt in the more rural areas, where the people are French to the core. You should definitely go and visit the Provence, and not miss the totally different but essential coast, maybe even choose Enchante barge cruises, like I once did. It was such a great experience, we visited some great vineyards like Corbière, and saw so much of the amazing countryside.

The French have unique laid back and hedonistic lifestyle. Wherever you go you will see relaxed people indulging in fashion, arts and culture spending their free time over a cup of coffee. Feel free to join them for a chat and learn more about their easy-going approach.

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Roxana Oliver
Roxana Oliver is a travel enthusiast and lifestyle consultant from Sydney, Australia, she loves to write about her adventures around the globe. Roxana embraces a healthy lifestyle, she loves to run with her husband and dogs and has fun cooking exotic meals for her family. Being a typical Aussie, Oliver often hits the waves and adores beaches and sunshine!